6 Steps to Build Your Social Media Strategy

Social media strategy involves planning, creating and maintaining your online presence, along with promoting your products/services in order to achieve your business goals. Here we’ll take your through six steps to organise and implement your social media strategy.

1. Review your social media presence and your customer

Review your online presence: Which social platforms do you currently use and why? Is that where your customers are? For example, if you’re selling mostly to business, you might focus on using only Linkedin. However, if your target marketing is students, you might want to focus on Snapchat or Instagram. In either case, it’s good to check that the photos, logo, colour etc… are visible on each social profile and aligned with the company image.

2. Define your social media goals

Social media goals will be in line with business goals, marketing strategy and customer’s needs. It’s a nice idea to write these goals down. Remember, people with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve success than people without goals!

There are multiple methods to define goals, one of the most popular is the S.M.A.R.T method.

S – Specific – The more specific you can be with writing down your objective, the easier it will be to clearly see what it is you need to accomplish. Often, answering the five “W” questions (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) can help you achieve greater specificity.
M – Measurable – Can your goal be measured? How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?
A – Attainable – Another way of putting this is “realistic.” Is it possible to achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself?
R – Relevant – For businesses, a relevant goal means that it has the potential to impact your business objectives, vision, or values.
T – Time – Give your goal a deadline.

Example 1: “I would like to increase my Twitter followers from 10K to 10.5K by June 30, 2016.”

Example 2: “I will create a campaign of hashtag contests on Twitter to increase brand awareness by April 30, 2017.”

3. Optimise your social media presence

It’s time now to align your online presence with your business goals and your customers.

Analyse the social platform you are using with your customers. Normally, you don’t need to use all the main platforms, but you should decide which accounts need to be updated / refined, created and which need to be deleted altogether. The objective is to get the best results with as little effort as possible.

Next, you need to be found where  your potential clients are looking for your products/services. As most people usually search using Google, if you want to be on the top of the results list, you need to optimise your social profiles to get the best results. It’s called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. Optimising profiles for SEO can help generate more web traffic to your online properties. Cross-promoting social accounts can extend the reach of content. In general, social media profiles should be filled out completely, and images and text should be optimised for the social network in question.

The idea customer is a woman between 20 and 25, middle income, passionate about fashion, and spends 4 to 5 hours per day online. Your business presence is on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. You’ll want to adjust your presence online by reducing your presence via LinkedIn and creating profiles on Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter.

4. Grow your Networking and Find Inspiration

Research your competition to find inspiration. Look at what they are doing, what is working for them and tailor the ideas to your own business; see how you can distinguish yourself from them.

Follow authorities in your industry. You can follow their profiles via all social platforms and get awareness of trends for your business.

Look at your customers, see what they share on social media and how they convey their message to be able to copy their voice and adjust your content likewise.

You can also use tools such as Feedly, or Klout to listen to your competition and consumers. Also, a spreadsheet with your industry leader details will help you to keep track.

5. Create and Plan your Social Media Content

Your social media marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation, content curation and an editorial calendar. When it comes to content marketing efforts, timing is everything, and using an editorial calendar is one of the most effective ways to stay organized.

The editorial calendar should answer 5 main questions:
Who is responsible for the content?
How do we promote the content?
Who is the target audience?
What is the type of content you intend to post and promote on social media?
When do you post (schedule)?

To create an editorial calendar, you can use an excel sheet or google calendar. Just remember to follow the Social Media Rules of Third:
⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.

6. Track, Analyse, and Optimise your Social Media Strategy

Social media strategy doesn’t have a magic formula! The only way to know what is working for you is to test it. Every single post needs to be tracked and analysed. It can be done via A/B testing, using Google Analytics or other analytic tools that are already built into the platform (e.g. Facebook insights or Twitter analytics).

You need to record the successes and failures to be able to adjust and optimise your strategy. Here are some examples of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that can be tracked:
Comments and Interactions: Comments on your content are great indications that you’re sparking conversation and making an impact on your readers.

Conversion Rates: When it comes to content marketing, you’ll want to make sure you’re optimizing your conversion rates at every possible opportunity.

Followers and/or Subscribers: The number of followers and subscribers you have is a great indication of brand awareness. If increasing your brand awareness is one of the goals on your list, make sure you’re keeping track of these numbers.

The most important thing to remember about social media strategy is that it’s very dynamic – changes are constant. You need to have a plan, know your audience very well and keep on top of the trends.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed this post!